A few weeks back, I attended the PA Strength and Conditioning Clinic at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA. A few weeks prior to that, I had written some of my good friends who attend the clinic each year and told them I was really looking forward to meeting up with them and hitting a good, solid, hard workout.
The reason I did this is because I wanted to just go there and relax and just blow off some steam by putting one another through the ringers, challenging one another in a nice, conventional workout in the gym.
So, Jerry Shreck, from Bucknell and Bobby Fisk, from Hobart, all met up and just threw down for about 2 solid hours of lifting with no real plan except to leave everything we had in the weight room.
Here is what we ended up doing.
Part I: Overhead Lifting
This portion starts out with some One Arm Snatch and One Arm Clean Clean and Press using Dumbbells. I was really looking forward to seeing how much I could do in these lifts, for two reasons.
First, the heaviest dumbbells I have in my gym is 110-lbs, and I seemed to remember Juniata’s going up to 150. Unfortunately, I remembered wrong, because they only went up to 120′s.
Second, there had been a post on the Gripboard talking about the heaviest One Arm Press people could do with no leg drive and starting with the dumbbell in contact with the shoulder. In training, I had gotten 100-lbs but kept missing with 110, so I was looking forward to seeing what I could.
The Snatches just happened because I figured I might as well start out with at least one fast lift, plus the Snatch takes nothing out of me for the Clean and Press so it ended up making sense.
For the Snatch, I ended up getting 120-lbs right handed. I was happy with this, but I know I could have gotten more, especially after Jerry cued me to keep my back straighter – everything felt more efficient after that and was much easier.
For the Clean and Press, I knocked out 110 without any leg drive whatsoever. On 115, I came very close, but I lost my balance a bit and had to move my feet to keep from falling over, so I can’t count it.
From there, we did some Pressing Ladders, where I started with 85 X 1, then 80 X 2, 75 X 3, 70 X 4, and then tried to reverse it back to 85X 1. I came close but didn’t quite finish it off.
Part II: Rows and Chest Press
Sadly, this is the part of the workout that really messed Jerry up. He had a pretty significant injury to his left forearm that kept him from hitting the numbers he really wanted to so, I know that he will be going after some payback sometime soon. Maybe we will have to meet up at Bucknell sometime for another encounter.
This video starts of with some Low Cable Rows. We started out with the whole stack, level 20, and we performed 5 reps there, then we would drop one plate off the pin and hit 5 more reps. This is where Bobby jumped in with us and proved that they don’t mess around in their training at Hobart.
I really liked this exchange. It was awesome having a pin-selected stack to work with. At my place, my Low Cable Row machine has an actual loading pin, so if I want to drop weight from it during a set, I have to stand up, walk 4 feet to unload, and then get back in position. Being able to just sit forward and have someone else adjust the pins was awesome.
Next, we hit the Chest Press Machine. We started with the stack again, and then dropped two plate positions, hitting 5 reps at each stop. This machine proved to be fairly surprising in the area of difficulty. It had been a long time since Jerry and I had worked on a machine like this, and the bottom of the movement as well as the lockout were much more difficult than the regular Barbell Bench Press.
With this in mind, it could be a good idea to work some machines in every so often in order to shock the muscles a bit and keep them guessing. As I told Bobby, “It’s a different hard. It can still make you better.”
Part III: Curls, Upright Rows, Side Laterals, Posterior Flyes
As I was walking around the gym warming up, I saw this freakin’ awesome angled handle barbell. I know Coach Smith from Juniata has all of the best equipment for his football players, so it didn’t surprise me that he’d have a barbell like this. Bobby and I jumped on it right away, throwing a 10-kilo plate on there and performing a few sets of curls. It felt awesome and there was absolutely no stress on the wrists or forearms whatsoever curling with this barbell.
After that we set up a combination for the shoulders. Lift A was Upright Rows, which I haven’t done in years, but have added in a bit recently using only the EZ Curl Bar. I have actually coached people NOT to do Upright Rows in the past, but with the form I use in the video, I think they are much safer than the regular form used with barbells. We combined that with a superset of Side Laterals and Posterior Flyes performed with Chains.
This was an AWESOME burner for the shoulders. What’s great about the chains is they are very light at the bottom and then KILLER HARD at the top. With the lighter resistance at the bottom, they do not strain the rotator cuffs like dumbbells would, and the difficulty only ramps up when you get out of the range where the rotator cuffs are doing all of the work.
I LOVED this workout. The only things that could could have made it any better were if my two regular lifting buddies, Mark Gannon and JT Straussner, would have been there, and if we would have thrown in some Grip at the end. However, I took a 3-week hiatus from Grip Training after nationals, so the only grip I did during that time was holding the weights in my regular Strength and Mass Building lifts.
I hope you enjoy the videos. If you have any questions about the training, please feel free to leave a comment below, or right on the YouTube video pages.
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All the best in your training.
P.S. Be sure to keep an eye out for more updates from Juniata. I still have a few more training and learning tidbits I will be sharing from my time there. Stay Tuned.
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